Exec. Branch Bargaining Well Under Way

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Team Preparing Counter-Proposals

The Executive Branch collective bargaining process is now well under way, as the state’s negotiating team has begun responding to proposals from all of the unions that represent state employees.

Jim Nall, the chair of the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Master Bargaining Team, said the bargaining process is fluid but that some early themes have started to develop.

“The state’s team has expressed repeatedly that there is no surplus of funds,” Nall said. “It’s clear that the state’s team has priorities, and has indicated there are several concerns they feel must be addressed in the new contract. It’s early in the process right now, so we’ll have to wait to see what is offered as compensation for any concessions that the state may ask for.”

The bargaining team is keenly aware, Nall said, of the many issues related to the state’s difficulty in recruiting and retaining workers.

“People are consistently being asked to do a lot more with a lot less,” he said. “We’re attempting to address some of that through the collective bargaining agreement.”

Nall said the bargaining process will continue with the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 team preparing counter-proposals to the state’s responses.

“We plan to meet with the state’s team again Tuesday to continue to work toward finding solutions that meet their needs while recognizing the challenges that state employees are facing on a daily basis,” Nall said.

The bargaining process, like any at the union, requires lots of member involvement. While many responded to the survey that helped establish bargaining priorities, there are other ways to help. Nall said members’ involvement needs to go beyond bargaining, as things happening at the Legislature could have a massive impact.

“Our membership can’t sit idly by and watch the negative actions that are affecting our workforce,” Nall said. “Whether it’s right to work, or the proposal that would prevent unions from collecting dues through payroll deduction — these bills would have no lasting benefit to our employees and, worse, they’ll cause them harm.”

Nall encouraged his fellow SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members to get active and make their voices heard. An easy way to be involved is through the Collective Bargaining Advisory Committee or the Contract Action Team (CAT).

“While I have a bargaining team of 14 people standing behind me at the negotiating table, there are 10,000 state employees out there,” he said. “Each and every one of them needs to make it clear that they expect to be treated with respect as hard-working employees of the state of New Hampshire.”

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